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Book Review: Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau is a coming of age novel taking place in Baltimore, Maryland. During the 1970's, fourteen year old Mary Jane is caught in the middle of her family's conservative ideals and the progressive ideals of the Cone family where she is a summer nanny. Mary Jane is a sheltered teen who enjoys cooking with her mother, listening to Broadway Show Tunes, and singing in the church choir. On the first day of work, she is shocked at the mess in the Cone's home and introduces them to home cooked meals and keeping the house clean. In return, Mary Jane gets a front row seat to sex, drugs, and rock & roll. This novel was the selected for the book club I belong to. Again, this is a novel that I likely wouldn't have chosen to read on my own, but I was glad I did. Mary Jane is the first novel I've read by Jessica Anya Blau, and I was impressed with her storytelling.  Touching on race, class, and stereotypes, along with drugs and infidelity, it reminded

Book Review: The Resemblance by Lauren Nossett

The Resemblance by Lauren Nossett is the author's debut novel taking place in Athens, Georgia at the University of Georgia. A fraternity brother is killed in a hit and run accident, but there's more to it than meets the eye. The driver was smiling when he hit the student and bears an uncanny resemblance to the person he hit. First on the scene of the accident, Detective Marlitt Kaplan is out to prove that she can handle this gruesome case.

First and foremost, I'd like to thank NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the free digital version of the Advanced Readers Copy of The Resemblance by Lauren Nossett in exchange for my honest review. I was excited and honored to receive a copy of this novel.

Right from the start of The Resemblance, it had my attention and was a page turner. There wasn't one slow part. The story was well written, realistic for the most part, and had a wow factor. As for the characters, they were well developed, and most of them were likable, so much so that I am hoping that there is a sequel to follow up with the main character, Detective Marlitt Kaplan.

With fraternity and sorority hazings being more prevalent in the news over the last few years, I was glad that Lauren Nossett didn't glorify Greek Life like other books tend to do. It also made me wonder if many of the hazings that get swept under the rug are political like the one in the novel.

Five out of five stars is what I give The Resemblance by Lauren Nossett. I'm already wanting to go back and reread the novel. Fingers crossed that there is at least one sequel. Even if there isn't, I will definitely buy more novels by this author should she publish more.

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